We have on one hand Lublin Auxiliary Bishop Józef Wróbel’s statement that it would be “just” for the Pope to answer the dubia of the Four Cardinals, and on the other, the head of the Greek Latin Church, Franciscan Fragiskos Papamanolis accusing the same Cardinals of creating “scandal” and being in “great sin.”
The retired bishop, though head of the Episcopal Conference in Greece, misses key points in his letter. He assumes that the Cardinals have accused Pope Francis of “heresy.” They have not. He clearly believes that no person, even a Cardinal has the right or duty to hold accountable, any Pontiff, from teaching error, if that be the case. He continues that their “intellectual capacities” will prohibit them from seeing these realities. He even goes so far as to accuse them of sacrilege - that of offering Holy Mass in a state of sin because of their challenge of the Pope's sanction of actual Eucharistic sacrilege through adultery. Oh, the irony. Oh, the temerity.
The pushback to discredit the Four has begun. There are rumours that there were six, but two did not want their names made public, at least not at this time.
This division in the Church has been created by Francis. He has acted against the will of the Synod. Neither Synod had a two-thirds majority to make the changes to Holy Communion for unrepentant adulterers that he has undertaken. While he has the legal right to chart his course contrary to the Synod, it flies in the face of “synodality” which he preaches and the Conciliar “collegiality” to which those who worship at the altar of Vatican II, demand.
Amoris Laetitia is very simple and so is the issue.
In this exhortation, the path is opened for people who are living in adultery, and who refuse to change the circumstance of their lives, to receive Holy Communion. The Pope himself has confirmed that this is the case by his approval of this position taken by the Bishops of Buenos Aires and the Vicar of Rome – something which could not have happened without his direct approval.
It is not the Four Cardinals who have caused scandal, it is Francis.
November 20, 2016
Dear brothers in the episcopate,
My faith in our God tells me that he cannot, but love you. With the sincerity that comes out of my heart I call you "dear brothers."
Even now in Greece is the document that you presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and which was published on Monday by the dell 'site Espresso, known.
Before publishing the document and, even more, before you drew it up, you presented it to the Holy Father Francis and for unsubscribed from the College of Cardinals appointments.
In addition, you should not have to make use of the title "cardinal" to give prestige to what you have written, using this for consistency with your conscience and to lighten the scandal you have given writing as individuals.
You write that you are "deeply concerned for the true good of souls" and indirectly accused the Holy Father Francis' to advance in the Church some form of policy. " Ask that "no one judge you unfairly." Unjustly you judge those who say the opposite of what you write explicitly. The words you use have their significance. The fact that you make strong use of the cardinal title does not change the sense of seriously offensive words for the bishop of Rome.
If you are "deeply concerned for the true good of souls" and moved "by the passionate concern for the good of the faithful", I, dear brothers, am, "deeply concerned for the true good of your souls," to double your great sin:
- The sin of heresy (and apostasy? So, in fact, begin the schisms in the Church). From your document appears clear that, in practice, do not believe the supreme teaching authority of the pope, reinforced by two synods of bishops from around the world. We see that the Holy Spirit inspires you alone and not the vicar of Christ and even the bishops gathered in Synod;
- And even more serious the sin of scandal, publicly gave to the Christian people in the world. In this regard, Jesus said: "Woe to that man by whom the scandal comes" (Mt 18,7). "It's better for him to have hung around his neck a millstone and be drowned in the depths of the sea" (Mt 18,6).
Driven by the love of Christ, I pray for you. I ask the Lord to enlighten you to accept with simplicity of heart the magisterial teaching of the holy father Francis.
I fear that your intellectual capacities will find sophisticated arguments to justify your actions, so you do not even consider it a sin to be submitted to the sacrament of penance and that you will continue to celebrate every day the Holy Mass and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist profanely, while you make are offended if, in specific cases, a divorced remarried receives the Eucharist and you dare accuse of heresy, the Holy Father Francis.
Know that I have participated in the two Synods of Bishops on the family and I have listened to your interventions. I also heard the comments that one of you did, during the break, on a statement contained in my speech in the Synod Hall, when I said, " sin is not easy." This brother (one of the four of you), speaking with his interlocutors, changed my statements and put words in my mouth that I had not pronounced. In addition, it gave to my declarations interpretation that could not be connected in any way with what I said.
Dear brethren, the Lord enlighten you to recognize as soon as possible, your sin and to repair the scandal you have given.
With the love of Christ, I greet you fraternally.
+ Fragkiskos Papamanolis , OFM Cap
Retired bishop of Syros, Santorini and Crete,
President of the Episcopal Conference of Greece